Oman Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Oman - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Oman due to the potential for violent demonstrations and the threat of terrorism.
Safety and security
Safety and security
On January 3, 2020, an Iranian military commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders were killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport. This incident has led to increased tensions in the region.
The security situation could worsen with little warning. There is an increased threat of attacks in general.
Remain extremely cautious if you are in the affected area.
Border with Yemen
Avoid approaching the Yemeni border due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Crossing the Yemen–Oman border can be difficult and very dangerous. Houthi militias and other forces operating in Yemen do not normally engage in cross-border exercises. However, you should be extremely cautious near the border due to the potential spillover of violence.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- Western interests
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
The crime rate is low and violence is rare. Robbery and auto theft occur. Do not show signs of affluence, and ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Do not travel alone after dark
- Lock car doors and keep windows closed
- Do not leave vehicles unattended
- Upon returning to your vehicle, inspect both its exterior and interior for any attached device or suspicious package
- Be suspicious of mail and packages from unfamiliar sources
- Contact your visa sponsor or the police if you suspect anything unusual
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Women have been detained when reporting sexual assault, as they must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged. Oman’s laws criminalize extramarital sex (see Laws and customs).
Roads conditions in Oman are generally good. Exercise caution when driving in rural areas, especially after dark, because of roaming animals, insufficient lighting, speeding drivers and limited visibility.
Rainfall can cause significant flooding on roads, particularly during the rainy season.
Off-road driving can be hazardous. If engaging in off-road driving:
- drive in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide only
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- be well prepared and equipped with gasoline, water, food and a cellular or satellite phone if you are driving in the desert areas of Wahiba and Rub’ Al Khali
Cell phones may have limited or no service in remote areas, which can become especially dangerous if you experience vehicle problems while driving in desert areas.
Taxis are generally safe.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Exercise caution if travelling by sea, including for recreational purposes, in the Gulf of Oman and the Northern Arabian Sea regions due to an increased risk of maritime attack.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
Only undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining and rock climbing, with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.
Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, refrain from using them. Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance.
If engaging in adventure tourism:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Omani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
The Government of Canada can’t facilitate your entry into or exit from Oman.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry to Oman.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
The Omani authorities may deny you entry if your passport shows an X in the “sex” field or if it includes an observation to that effect.
Canadians need a visa to visit Oman.
Tourism visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
You can obtain and pay for a visa upon arrival at Muscat International Airport. You can also apply for an e-visa before you travel through the Royal Oman Police portal.
Omani employers must obtain a work visa and a single-entry for you, either before or after you arrive. Omani employers often insist on retaining foreign employees’ passports as a condition of employment. This practice is illegal. Do not agree to this, as it could restrict your ability to travel and provide leverage to the employer in disputes.
Canadians have been denied entry into Oman because their passports bore an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp, or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel. Such a stamp would indicate the traveler has been in Israel.
Some areas of the country are considered of strategic importance and cannot be visited without authorization from Omani authorities.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Cases of locally-acquired Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been reported in this country.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).Some people infected with MERS-CoV experience no symptoms, while others may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. Some cases can result in death.
Eat and drink safely, and avoid close contact with animals, especially camels. If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you practise good hygiene and wash your hands before and after contact with animals. There is currently no vaccine to protect against MERS.
Medical services and facilities
Modern medical care is available in main cities but could be inadequate in remote areas. Immediate cash payment is often required.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines. The death penalty could apply.
Respect restrictions concerning the consumption of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol outside licensed hotels. Public intoxication is an offence.
Prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are legal in Canada, such as those containing codeine, may be restricted in Oman. Possession of such drugs could lead to a jail sentence. Carry your original prescription and keep prescription medications in their original container.
You should carry an international driving permit.
Drivers involved in an accident must move their vehicles to the side of the road to reduce congestion. Anyone deemed responsible for a motor vehicle accident may be detained for 48 hours. Consult the Royal Oman Police for more information on traffic rules.
Follow traffic laws diligently. Penalties for violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed, using a mobile phone, running a red light and failure to wear seat belts, are stringent. It is forbidden to use cellular phones while driving.
The laws of Oman prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
Oman does not recognize same-sex marriages. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Oman.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Oman.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Oman, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Children of an Omani father automatically acquire Omani citizenship at birth and must enter and leave the country on an Omani passport.
You must carry photo identification. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
Do not take photographs of individuals without prior authorization. It is prohibited to photograph public buildings and military or police vehicles.
Child custody decisions are based on Islamic law (Sharia). It is difficult for a Western woman, even a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through a court decision. Minor children of an Omani-national father must have their father’s permission to leave the country.
Witnesses to incidents, as well as suspects, may be held for lengthy periods without access to legal counsel or consular officials. If access is granted, it may be severely limited by the Omani authorities. Authorities may withhold the passport of an individual involved in a legal process, pending resolution of the case. This could result in the delay of a planned departure.
Dress and behavior
The country’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It is prohibited to wear military or similar clothing and accessories. Certain public areas may be restricted to men or women only. The work week is from Sunday to Thursday.
Sex outside legal marriage is forbidden. It is against the law to live together or share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related. Adultery and prostitution are illegal and are subject to severe punishment, including the death penalty. Avoid physical contact or displays of affection in public, including kissing and holding hands.
Omani authorities do not permit criticism of the government, the sultan or the society in general.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.
Exercise particular care in your behavior with others, especially officials, to avoid offending local sensitivities. Do not use aggressive, vulgar or abusive language or gestures in public, including on social media. Verbal insults and obscene gestures may be considered a criminal act and, if found guilty, you could face deportation, fines and a prison sentence.
Culturally acceptable content
Books, videotapes and audio tapes may be reviewed by airport and other customs authorities prior to being released to the owner to ensure that their content is culturally acceptable
Possession of pornographic material is forbidden.
The currency of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). Credit cards and U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are widely accepted.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from May to September. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
Flooding occurs in the far south during the rainy season. Heavy rains may cause wadis (dry riverbeds) to overflow, flooding underpasses and tunnels. Oman is subject to cyclones and tropical depressions, which are accompanied by strong winds and heavy rain. Flash floods and mudslides may occur.
Sand and dust storms occur during the dry season.
Dial 9999 for emergency assistance.
Muscat - Consulate of Canada
Riyadh - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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